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Hamstring Quad Strength


My hamstrings are proportionally small to my quads, my hams are about a third the size of my leg circumference. Can anyone suggest how to bring my hamstring strength up, and how specific exercises carry over to squat and deadlift? I do romanians regularly, and have a good squat and deadlift.


lol. I was going to suggest Romanian deadlifts but you're already doing them...

How about switching to Olympic-style weightlifting?



How do you tell your hamstring is one third the size of your leg circumference? And how do you measure the circumference of a leg since it is not a circle?


I thought that the hams make up about a 3rd, the adductors another third, and the quads make up the last third. Of course, there's variation based on genetics and training and god knows what else.


Try adding GHR's, box squats, pullthroughs, sled dragging, and goodmornings. Carryover will vary greatly though so there's really no way to give a number on that.


I'm a Powerlifter, therefore I train for Powerlifting, not oly-lifting. I think your "advice" can sit this one out vic, your insecurities and issues with Powerlifting are your problem.

I can tell the size of my hamstrings by measuring them. I'm not worried if circumferance is a term exclusive to a perfect circle and not a circular shape, it was to describe the action of measuring the biggest part of my thigh. It measured 22 inches around, hamstring was 6 across. I don't see the reasoning behind challenging a moot point in a condescending way.

I intend to try GHR soon, I have some joint clicking stuff to get checked out soon if they won't bother my knee clicking I intend to do them. Box Squats seem to make my free squat go down for some odd reason or I would try them more. I could try sled dragging.

Any opinions on lunges for Powerlifting?


If you want to target your hamstrings with lunges, standing on some plates or aerobics platform and bringing your rear foot onto the ground will make it brutal. Personally, they didn't have any direct carryover for me, but they helped open up my hips a little.


lol. Okay Fisher. Sorry for the attempt to troll. I just do that alot... You're not the kind whom I could banter into humiliation. :wink:

Good luck with powerlifting.


Wide aquats; wide bel squats; sumo dead lifts; kettle bells swings; reverse hypers; leg curls with bands. Oh, and good mornings!

I would suggest glute ham raises but I don't have a machine and don't do them.

Stretch your hips, hamstrings, lower back an hip flexors regularly, along with mobility work- and foam roll also!


How do Reverse Hypers help your hamstrings?


You could try them find out for yourself. You can do bodyweight reverse hypers on a swiss ball if you don't have one.


Hamstrings are hip extensors. Reverse hyper is hip extension.


Stiff legged deadlifts, stand on a box or plates to get more of a ham stretch.
Most gyms have a hyper extension setup, do tons of these, keep an arch in your lower back, squeeze the glutes...you can even use bands or throw a barbell on your back for more resistance.

Finally, box squats, sitting back to put the load onto the hamstrings.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure how important it is the size of the muscle though.


I do have one, and I do use it but I use it for my lower back not my hamstrings. Are you bending your knees at the top or something, this is really the first time I've ever heard anyone say reverse hypers for anything but lower back work.


When I do them, they mostly work my glute-ham tie in, hip complex, and lower back. I keep my legs nearly locked, but not quite. I also do a hard squeeze at the top and do a very controlled motion. If I want to target my hips and glute-ham tie in area, I'll spread my feet apart and do them that way. I only use them to get a pump in the area for recovery and for re and pre hab.


Ok thanks for all the replies. I've got a lot to add to my training, in retropsect, I don't think I was doing enough assistance for my lower body with just romanians/leg presses and ab work. I'm clearly not a bodybuilder, but if my hamstrings look way to small for my legs I'm concerned that my strength is being limited by them. In my recent meet my knees come in breifly so I know I need to work on my hips and hams.



For me, bringing up my hammies in size and strength has simply been a matter of increasing volume, with medium/high rep ranges. While hammies may get strong from low reps, mine got VERY little hypertrophy benefits from low reps. I'm a strong believer that a bigger muscle generally has more capacity to become a stronger muscle. To a point, of course.


Also consider weighted back raises and I second the stiff-legged deads. SLDLs for a couple light sets are great for warming up the hammies before squats/deads as well.


I feel it more in my lower back when I do reverse hypers, and I often use no weight and do multiple sets of high reps for restorative purposes, but when I add weight I feel it in my hamstrings, they may not be the primary muscles used, but they work. I am 6.2 foot tall with long legs and a short back so maybe that has something to do with it. The normal hyperextension, which I didn't mention will obviously hammer the hamstrings.

As with any exercise if it doesn't work for you, jettison it pretty damn quick...